Granite is increasingly finding its way into our homes, places of business and even outdoor spaces. Consumers love it for its durability and stylish looks, but where does it come from? And how does it find its way from the ground to your kitchen?
We have produced a short blog post explaining exactly what granite is, where it comes from and the different treatment processes which the rock goes through before it is installed in your home.
What is granite?
Granite is probably the most famous igneous rock. It is formed during a very slow crystallisation process which takes place beneath the Earth’s surface.
Granite is distinguishable for its large crystals and unique colour set. In fact, no two bits of granite are ever identical.
Granite is tough against weathering and other types of abrasion; it also accepts a brilliant polish when treated. These characteristics make granite a desirable material to use in kitchens, bathrooms, fireplace surrounds and steps, among many others places both indoors and out.
Where does granite come from?
Granite is mined and shipped all over the globe. Many of the styles which are popular in Britain actually come from Scotland or south-west England, as well as from places like Cumbria and Leicestershire.
Other styles come from abroad – one popular style named Star Galaxy only occurs in India. Occasionally though it is exported to China or other places before coming to Britain. For reasons like this, granite sourcing can be quite confusing.
Generally speaking though, the quality of your granite will not be depend on the region it comes from – in spite of what many people believe.
From quarry mine to kitchen worktop
Miners usually detach huge sections of granite using carefully placed explosives. These giant chunks are then cut down into manageable sizes using large diamond saws.
These chunks are then transported around the world. Often, wholesalers will buy them and cut them down to thinner, more bespoke pieces before selling them on to smaller granite companies such as Graniteline Cheshire Limited.
Once it’s the right shape and size, granite needs to be treated. For certain uses like non-slip flooring or fireplace surrounds, granite can undergo a process called ‘flaming’; this leaves the stone with an authentically rough finish.
To get a smoother finish for kitchen worktops, granite needs to be polished and sealed. This usually occurs before the granite arrives at your home so the installers only have to fit the unit and cut any holes for sinks etc.
To get a quote for your unit, call a member of the Graniteline team on 01606 841 074.